Romans 4:17 says - For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Over the last few years I have been on an incredible journey of learning andunderstanding the kingdom of God. So much still to discover!
One of the things that I've learned is that the kingdom isn’t just a destination. We get to encounter the kingdom here and now through the Holy Spirit manifesting God’s presence. In God’s presence when we have experience of Him, this also
tells us what the kingdom is like.
You see, although we live in this world, we are not of it! And so the things of the world cannot satisfy our needs! Have you ever found yourself stressed out and sat down with a tub of Ben and Jerry's or a HUGE chocolate bar or BOTH! Only to find there’s no peace at the bottom of the tub you just end up feeling stressed and sick!? Or sometimes we can fill our life with stuff for convenience thinking that will sort out the stress but often they can create more stress! True peace comes from being right with God, seeking His kingdom and being in His presence.
So how do we access Peace?
I believe that repentance is an access point to encounter the Kingdom of God and to experience all that the kingdom is including peace. Mark 1:14-15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming
the good news of God."The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” If we are looking for peace in worldly things or trying to get ‘peace of mind’ from
worldly wisdom, we will never be fully satisfied or have peace - we are to repent.
We are to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and if other things have taken first place that might be why we feel we have no peace. The moment we repent and receive Christ as our saviour the bible says God takes away our sin and we receive righteousness. Through this righteousness, now being sons and daughters of God we can enjoy all the benefits of the Kingdom including peace.
What I love most about this is it’s not just about experiencing a temporal peace. The kingdom of God is eternal and anything of Gods kingdom is also eternal. Which means Gods peace is eternal, never ending, never running out. It is unrestricted, unbiased, fully accessible and free because of the price Jesus paid for us to be restored into relationship with God. Knowing who we are in Christ and what we have received through Him is powerful. It changes our perspective and engages our faith. We begin to see things differently - I began to recognise that Peace wasn't a feeling fixer but so much more than that.
In the Kingdom of God Peace is a weapon! When we demonstrate peace either in our own circumstances or to those around us we are pushing back the kingdom of darkness and the schemes the enemy lays out to try to rob us of it. We don’t have to wait for peace to come to us - we have been given it already. And we have been given authority to use it. We have been given peace as a gift but we can also release and demonstrate it.
Through peace chaos comes into order. Jesus calms storms with peace. In the storms of life - big or small, there are times when we don’t have answers. When the latest gadgets can’t fix it, and there’s just not enough ice-cream - we need something beyond this world. When I don’t feel at peace it can sometimes be because of outside pressures or the busyness of life. But often it’s to do with the condition of my heart. If I’ve been putting other things first, or not been tender hearted and repentant. Then I can feel ashamed and condemned which picks at my identity and how I see myself.
I am learning to be still with God, to put him first and ask what’s going on inside of me. What can I repent of? I’m learning to live from a place of identity and kingdom perspective - when I am clothed in righteousness I am also clothed in peace.
When you are seeking first the kingdom of God, you will have peace.
Peace is powerful.